T. Greenwood‘s new novel is a family drama centered on four characters. Two are teenagers. Trevor is a 13-year-old boy who is ruthlessly bullied at school, whose world feels best when he is taking photographs. The other is a high school girl reeling from giving her baby up for adoption.
T. (Tammy in real life) pub;ishes a blog on her website. A recent, brave post addresses the bullying she experienced in her own life, and the denial that the bullied often experience.
Adult/High School–Why is Kurt taking his 13-year-old son, Trevor, through the deep Vermont snow at midnight with a rifle at his back? These opening pages envelop readers in a deep sense of foreboding that never lets up. From there the story backtracks as Kurt’s family begins to unravel. Trevor is relentlessly bullied, and his isolation, rage, and self-hatred are palpable. The two things that make him happy are his younger sister Grace and his aging art teacher who introduces him to the world of photography. Kurt senses that his young wife, Elsbeth, is feeling trapped and that “she was teetering at some terrible precipice.” Kurt is under tremendous financial stress; he’s dealing with his unpleasant father, and he doesn’t understand Trevor. Along with this family struggling with lack of communication and tension, there is a parallel story involving Crystal, a high school senior whose life is spiraling out of control after giving her baby up for adoption. Elsbeth and Grace often shop where Crystal works and their lives become intertwined with devastating consequences. The story is perhaps wrapped up a bit too neatly, but teens will appreciate this tautly written novel with strong characters and emotional depth. Unremittingly painful, it’s hard to put down.–Jane Ritter, Mill Valley School District, CA